By now if you’re a fan of those little yellow men called Minions you have this song rolling in your head like the words from the “It’s a small world” ride at Disney. This is the Christian Rap by Pharrell Williams – “Happy” (the Gospel Remix – with Adam & Kid). My hubby has it playing on repeat constantly so I’m sharing it with everyone here. Love it.
Embed from Getty ImagesPersonal Testimony Page
My Life Before Christ
As a child, I was a good kid. Peers, family, and teachers liked me. My life was what I would consider average. My goals were to have fun, and spend time with my family and friends. There were no major traumas or upsets in my young life that I hold on to. However, I didn’t have anything else to compare it.
Looking back I remember that my father’s side of the family were non-practicing Catholics. My mom’s side was Protestant. I don’t remember anyone close to our family who claimed to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Since my mom is Part-Hawaiian and raised in the Hawaiian culture, we were taught that there is one “main” God. However, the Hawaiian culture has many gods, rituals, and superstitions.
How I Came to Know Jesus Personally
Occasionally, I attended a Pentecostal church with my mom. I went to prayer revivals; and I was also baptized in water. However, I never knew what it meant to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior. When I was 12, my mom began attending a church with my Aunt Charlotte. My mom knew my Aunt for over 30 years before they both accepted Christ into their lives. I noticed something was changing in my mom over the next few weeks and every week she would ask my dad and us kids if we wanted to go with her and we all said, “No”.
However, one week, I really wanted to go to church with her. Nevertheless, my pride was telling me to wait for her to ask. If she did not ask this week, then I was not going. John 6:44 says, “No one can come to me (Jesus) unless the Father, who sent me draws him.” By God’s grace, my mom asked if I wanted to go to church. What is interesting is when I said yes, my two brothers also came with us. I do not remember the message, only that at the end of the service there was an alter call; it was one week before my 13th birthday. I felt led to go before the Lord, ask to have my sins forgiven, and be accepted as a child of God. My life has never been the same. My Aunt Charlotte gave me my first Bible. I loved going to her woman’s small group Bible study. Although I was the only “kid”, she allowed me to participate in the group prayer, Bible reading, and ask questions, so that I too, could learn God’s Word.
Evidence of a Changed Life
Since Jesus Christ became my Lord and Savior, things began to change in my life. I was still hanging around the wrong type of friends, who were a poor influence. I had one foot in the church and one foot out. I was trying to get my life on track. I started to go to church regularly and read the Bible. One of the major life changes for me was when I felt the Lord leading me to give up my non-Christian friends. With obedience comes growth. There was a sense of peace in having a purpose and guidance in my life.
As I read the Bible, I became aware that there is only one true God and He does not want us to worship any other god(s)/idols. Fortunately, my mom was also learning the scriptures. We no longer participated in the Hawaiian rituals which can be seen as idol worship.
I believe that my life has changed from self-focused to Christ-centered. A key scripture in my life is, Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” During difficult periods of my life, instead of going into a panic, if I go to the Lord first – He gives me peace and a comfort that I do not understand. – Philippians 4:7
When I feel lost and confused, I can rest assured that if I, “Trust in the Lord, and lean not on my own understanding, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight”. – Proverbs 3:5-6
When life’s challenges come my way, I seek counsel in other mature-minded Christians, not to gossip, but for prayer and guidance in His word. Having prayer partners worldwide increases my faith and helps me to encourage others in their ministry.
I am thankful for the grace and forgiveness of God, who gave us his only Son, who died for our sins, that we might have everlasting life. -B2B
There’s an old song by a group called, The Byrds, who sang a tune called, Turn, Turn, Turn. I grew up hearing this song as my parents listened to an oldies channel and I worked at two oldies radio stations – not by choice it just happened to be the place that had a job while I was going to school. Anyway, I vaguely remember the song went something like, “with every season there’s a purpose under the sun.” You can watch the video & listen to the lyrics here.
After becoming a Christian I heard that this song is actually scripture in pop culture music of the 1960’s. It was not just an old folk song (I don’ t mean old people although that could be applied, but folk music – is a genre – you can look it up). So this morning as it came to my thoughts I looked up Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NLT (see below) It’s assumed that King Solomon, son of David wrote the book of Ecclesiastes during a time of seeking meaning to life. Throughout the book it seems so dark and gloomy, like a rich king who has everything he could ever want and had lost his purpose. God had blessed Solomon as the wisest man to ever live, yet with his many riches, wives and wisdom he was in a funk.
If you’re one of those people who think, yes I wonder what my purpose in live is too, read Ecclesiastes by clicking here. You’ll find it hard to read his whining tone and may get a bit depressed yourself, but read on, move through his emotion and find that there is hope, there is a purpose to everything under the sun and there is a God that can bring light to your purpose for being here on this earth. ~B2B
A Time for Everything
3 For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
Provoking to wrath – Proverbs 6:4
Have you ever done something and blamed someone else or had a reason that it wasn’t your fault that you reacted a certain way? Why does our legal system allow you to claim temporary insanity? Why do your kids say, “He made me do it?”
There are so many stories, from the time of Adam and Eve where we blame others for our actions. I was watching a news story of a woman who had an inappropriate interaction with her daughter’s ex-teenage boyfriend. They had shared sexually related texts. The plot thickens as she was the former mayor of a small town and her husband is the high school principal.
I wondered how the news reporters got the daughter to interview on behalf of her mother and then they dropped another bomb; they all blamed the mother’s inappropriate action on the death of her disabled son. What? Now I don’t want to be disrespectful. I worked in hospice and palliative care for years and this was an interesting twist. A woman goes out and does something supposedly out of character because she was grieving over her son. Uh, that makes no sense, sorry.
At some point, do we say we lied, killed, steal and whatever other sin, because of something someone else did or because we are in an extreme emotional state. We hear about this every day when lawyers claim their clients were temporarily insane. Really? Seriously?
The Bible clearly states that we will appear before Christ for our judgment of actions – good and bad. Well you might say if I sin what can I do? Here’s a simple solution from Henry Blackaby’s words: “Strive always to acknowledge and take responsibility for your own sins. It will free you to receive God’s forgiveness and to press on to spiritual maturity.”
S – Scripture
Then the man said (to the Lord), “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:12) ~ From Henry Blackaby’s Devotional
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” ~2 Corin 5:10
O – Observation
The Bible says that from the very beginning, when Adam blamed Eve and then blamed God for giving him Eve; then Eve blamed the serpent. God placed judgment on them and all of mankind for their disobedience. We will also appear before Christ for all of our actions – good and bad.
A – Application
How do I apply this devotional to my life? That’s both easier said than done. I need to think about what I’m doing before I do or say something. I also need to know as the scripture tells me that I and I alone am accountable for my actions. It’s like a football game where a player was mad at someone on the other team so he pounded the guy’s head into the ground three times and then as they pulled him off the opposing team players body, the guy stepped on his leg. He got kicked out of the game and possibly will have a six-digit penalty. So, it may be the other person’s fault of why you reacted, but you still have to pay the penalty and it doesn’t excuse your behavior.
P – Prayer
What can I do Lord to take responsibility for my actions? As Blackaby says to strive always to acknowledge my actions and take responsibility for my own sins. If I do sin, I must do this in order to repent and receive God’s forgiveness in order to learn and grow through my weaknesses. Just because the Lord has huge amounts of grace upon my life does not mean that I can do whatever I want and go back and ask for forgiveness and not have to pay the penalty for my sins. As 2 Corin 5:10 says, I must still stand before Christ’s judgment seat. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to have the Lord say, well done, my good and faithful servant.
Watch the preview of God’s Not Dead the movie here:
Have you seen the movie yet? How appropriate that this movie came out a few weeks before the world celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. Both Christians and non-Christians celebrate Easter but only a few will truly understand the pain, sacrifice, and life-changing reason for Easter – it is the day that Christ, our Savior was risen from the dead as prophesied in the Holy Scriptures.
Although the movie is not about the death and resurrection of Christ specifically like the most watched and most translated film, The Jesus Film Project – this movie is about a college student in today’s time who is told by his college professor to write “God is dead” on a paper so that there’s no debate in his philosophy class. There are several stories within the film that depict how other students are affected by the choice of one student who stands up for his faith.
This is a very well done movie and is playing in theaters at the time of this post. It is doing so well, that initially the movie was released in select areas and is now expanded to most all major theaters across the country as it had a great opening weekend. 2014 seems to be the year of the Bible stories and Christian movies. Some of them are not well done, by way that they are not Biblically correct. God’s Not Dead is not a Biblical story but the story of one young man who stands for his faith and the stories around him help the viewer to think through their own life and hopefully come to a spiritual conversation with a Christian or give their life to the Lord through prayer – by confessing with you mouth that Jesus is Lord, asking for forgiveness for your sins – you too can have eternal life in heaven when that time comes. See Roman’s Road to Salvation.
-When church leaders fall-
“If all sin is evil and we are all sinners, what’s Proverbs 13:6 mean? “Godliness guards the path of the blameless, but the evil are misled by sin.”
It was a challenging week as we started it by finding out through social media that the pastor of a church we used to attend some years ago had stepped down. The news was due to ‘moral failure’. It was heartbreaking to say the least. News spread quickly among the congregation and the news media. Speculation, assumptions, talk, what happened? What was he thinking? There’s no confirmation, but talk from a blog and rumors. The church’s website had an ‘official statement’ as people gathered for an special Sunday afternoon announcement, the pastor wasn’t present. It just goes to show you that we cannot place all of our trust in man, but in Christ. Fortunately, this particular church has many great members and leaders and the pastor did teach them from the scripture for many years that we all fall short of God’s glory.
No matter what, it’s still going to be a challenge but the outlook of many have said that the church will go on. And for those who choose to say that they will leave, are bitter, and inconsolable, well that too is a choice. We’ll be praying for that pastor and his wife and children. He’s not alone in his choices and he’s paying with severe consequences. However it all comes down, God is sovereign and He is in control. We’ll just take this one step at a time and go on. We have much to be thankful for and the ministry that this man started will go on. The next chapter is yet to be written and prayerfully those remaining will pick up the pieces and good will come from poor choices.
Although I wouldn’t call the person evil, the sin during a moment of weakness is evil – for this scripture just gives us some direction in Proverbs that we all need to take heed and seek God in all we do and take it all to God in prayer. ~B2B
This is my lil Nala, she was born on Jan 5, 2000 and sadly passed in my arms on March 23, 2014. She was 14 years old, but if you multiple that by doggie years she was 98!
I adopted her from a care home operator in Pearl City Hawaii when she was a little over six months old as the prior owner said Nala’s mom was expecting again and she had too many chi’s.
Nala’s been with me through several moves and major life events over the 14 years of her little life. She traveled well on her first plane ride from Honolulu to Michigan and her final destination of Florida, while fortunately riding in the cabin of the plane, I knew once we left Hawaii she would not return with me. Her tiny teacup body was at times a hefty 4.5 lbs but she averaged 4 lbs for many years, and as she aged went down to 3.
She had attitude and style and was always admired by those who saw her and fawned upon her. She loved the attention of adults and the admiration of adoring fans. She was a princess, even though that wasn’t my intention, she just was. She just had a personality all her own and rule the house as the littlest of our canines.
I will miss her dearly. Although the Bible doesn’t clearly state that our pets will go to heaven, I would like to believe that God knows what would give us joy and I’m hoping to see all of my pets who gave and taught me of unconditional love. The same type of love that Jesus has for us, His children.
If you’re interested in what the Bible says, “Do pets/animals go to heaven” you can go to http://www.qotguestions.org and check it out. http://www.compellingtruth.org/do-pets-go-to-heaven.html
Should Christians celebrate Christmas? This could be a hotly debated topic as various aspect of the American Christmas has nothing to do with what Christians believe in, that this may not be the exact date of Christ’s birth, but it is a time to rejoice over the birth of our Savior. In one case, based on the interpretation of the Bible and trees decorated in our homes, one could look at the scriptures and say, we should not have a Christmas tree as this is a form of idol worship. What? You may say, you’ve never heard of this in Sunday service, why hasn’t the pastor taught on this and why do they have trees all around our church? Well, it’s up to debate but this is what GotQuestions.org has to say about it and more importantly, we need to seek God and the scriptures for our own convictions.
An excerpt from GotQuestions.org says, “Another argument against Christmas, especially having a Christmas tree, is that the Bible forbids bringing trees into our homes and decorating them. The passage often cited is Jeremiah 10:1-16, but this passage refers to cutting down trees, chiseling the wood to make an idol, and then decorating the idol with silver and gold for the purpose of bowing down before it to worship it (see also Isaiah 44:9-18). The passage in Jeremiah cannot be taken out of its context and used to make a legitimate argument against Christmas trees. Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-Christmas.html#ixzz2oOtRiXRK
What’s your thoughts? Sound off in the comments section below.
The Bible says it, so why can’t you ask for anything you want and get it in Jesus name?
For one thing, if you read the scripture to ask for anything in the name of Jesus, you need to read the rest of the scripture: John 14:13-14, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
I would always say, God is not Santa Claus, you don’t make a list and expect whatever you ask for. In Luke 11:1-4 we are taught to how to pray. However, if you keep reading vs 5-11 Jesus used stories or parables to teach the meaning of what he was saying. He says that He will give you the Holy Spirit to those who ask. Luke 11:12.
Now if you’re wondering what does the Holy Spirit have to do with asking for provision when you need basic necessities like food, water and shelter? You may say you’re praying for healing or salvation for a friend or family member – why would God give me the Holy Spirit, that’s not what I asked for.
If you come to understand the source of all you ask for is in the Holy Spirit that can dwell within you then you will understand. I was reminded of this as I’m going through the book, Radical, by David Platt. It has been on the New York Times best seller list for some years and a good read to remind us that God our Father is willing to give us everything we need and things we want when it is based on God’s will, not our own.
We’ll need to do a few things before God will give you the desires of your heart. “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him…” (Psalm 37:5-7a, NIV).
Seek the scriptures for answers. Look things up in your Bible concordance and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you as to why a prayer is not being answered. You’ll find that everything happens for the God’s purpose and in His time. May His Holy Spirit provide peace and comfort as you wait upon the Lord. “Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” – Psalm 24:17 NLT
“Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord.” ~Colossians 3:22 NLT
When I first read the book “My Life is Not My Own” by Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, I understood that being a Slave to Christ is so much easier than being the boss of my own life. You can read my review of the book by clicking My Life is Not My Own. There’s also an interesting written interview by Michael Little, president of CBN and Dr. Bright at the 50th anniversary of Campus Crusade now known as Cru. Dr. Bright explains the contract he and wife, Vonette signed to become, “Slaves for Christ.”
Are you willing to be a Slave for Christ?
When I think of the word slave I think I have no power, no choice, just obedience or there will be consequences. The difference is that God allows us free-will. Yet, the Bible clearly states that He is a God of order and peace. I Corin 14:33, 44.
We have the choice to follow Him and His direction based on the Word and the Holy Spirit, or we can choose not to and suffer the consequences of our choices. The definition of being strong-willed or independent are seen as strengths in the secular world, yet as Christians, God asks us to be obedient, followers of Christ. As I journal my devos I have found an ongoing theme of lessons woven in God’s Word – obedience. I continue to see that often times God asks us to step out on faith to do something for Him, and yet it was to build our character for His purpose, not what we could do for others, but what we could learn, and grow from, in order for God to mold us.
So the next time the Lord speaks and ask you to step out in faith and be obedient to him, don’t ask: how, why, when, or wait until you have all the details before you make any decision – just say, “yes Lord” – because often times, He just wants your obedience.
II Timothy 3:16
“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
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